Businesses, workers and job seekers alike can begin the third quarter with confidence as the economy continues to strengthen and show signs of positive growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent jobs report showed that the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent – the lowest rate since September 2008.
While those figures tell us that the economy has been improving, CareerBuilder’s midyear job forecast shows that this upward momentum will continue through the end of 2014. Job seekers can expect sustained levels of job growth in the second half of the year, as nearly half of U.S. employers plan to add full-time, permanent headcount over the next six months, and one-third plan to hire temporary or contract workers – both improvements over the same period in 2013. Among companies with more than 500 employees, 61 percent plan to add full-time, permanent employees, up from 56 percent in 2013.
The results of this year’s survey are indicative of a more assured employer population compared to 2013 when companies were, to some extent, irresolute when it came to adding permanent staff. Back then, employers anticipated a spike in temporary employment in the second half of the year while permanent employment was to remain flat.
The 2014 midyear forecast shows employers are expecting forward movement in all categories of hiring. Jobs will also be added in a variety of areas, heavily favoring job seekers with expertise in technology, financial operations, communications and other specialized fields.
Hiring in Q3 2014
While hiring plans for the back half of 2014 appear strong, looking at Q3 specifically, 31 percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in the third quarter, up slightly from 30 percent last year. The remainder of the labor market will continue their efforts to stabilize, as 9 percent expect to downsize staffs, while 56 percent anticipate no changes to headcount and 5 percent are undecided.
Hiring by industry
As STEM and financial services industries continue to thrive, workers with related skills will be in demand. In the months ahead, the following industries are expected to outperform the national average for permanent hiring:
- Information technology – 59 percent plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 51 percent last year
- Financial services – 57 percent plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 52 percent last year
- Hospitality – 55 percent plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 46 percent last year
- Health care – 54 percent plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 51 percent last year
- Manufacturing – 54 percent plan to hire full-time, permanent employees, up from 52 percent last year
Hot areas for hiring
Due to a rapid evolution of technology that has grown alongside the economic recovery, a variety of new and existing jobs are being added to businesses. When asked to identify the types of roles they will be creating within their organizations over the next six months, employers reported:
- Jobs tied to social media – 11 percent
- Jobs tied to mobile technology – 11 percent
- Jobs tied to cloud technology – 10 percent
- Jobs tied to wellness – 10 percent
- Jobs tied to content strategy for the Web – 9 percent
- Jobs tied to managing and interpreting big data – 9 percent
- Jobs tied to cybersecurity – 8 percent
- Jobs tied to financial regulation – 8 percent
- Jobs tied to search technology – 8 percent
- Jobs tied to health informatics – 8 percent
Small business hiring
While recruitment activity in enterprise organizations is gaining strength, small business hiring is holding steady and showing moderate improvement compared to last year.
- 50 or fewer employees – 24 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, the same as last year
- 250 or fewer employees – 35 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up slightly from 34 percent in 2013
- 500 or fewer employees – 39 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 37 percent in 2013
Hiring by region
Comparing regions, the Northeast and South reported the biggest increases in the percentage of employers planning to add full-time, permanent headcount in the second half of the year. Hiring in the West and Midwest is expected to remain relatively unchanged, but still in line with the other regions.
- Northeast – 48 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 43 percent last year
- South – 48 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 42 percent last year
- West – 47 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, down slightly from 48 percent last year
- Midwest – 46 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, on par with last year
With the opportunity for temporary summer positions to turn permanent and a continued progress of jobs being added to the economy, the hiring forecast for the remainder of the year looks bright.